HILLARY’S CAMPAIGN….Matt Yglesias says he knows why Hillary Clinton refuses to concede the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama even though she’s way behind in the delegate count:
Dragging things out ’till the convention stands a much, much, much higher chance of hurting Barack Obama’s chances in the general election than it does of securing Clinton the nomination. I understand the calculation from the point of view of the heart of the Clinton campaign — McCain beating Obama in the general means the Clintons still control the party, so there’s no need to worry about helping McCain and you might as well hold on and hope lightning strikes. But the broader mass of unaffiliated elites and Clinton supporters who aren’t literally on her payroll are, in my view, acting in a massively irresponsible manner.
Italics mine. Now, it’s true that Hillary has only a minuscule chance of winning the nomination at this point, and it’s also true that she probably is hoping that lightning strikes. As in, maybe Tony Rezko will break down on the witness stand Perry Mason style and implicate Obama in a massive influence peddling ring. Or maybe a chunk of red kryptonite will hit Obama in the head and transform him into a gigantic lizardman that destroys Pittsburgh. That would probably cost him a few votes in PA.
So fine: Hillary’s chances are slim and maybe it’s time to withdraw. But how do we hop from there to an out-of-the-blue factual assertion that Hillary would just as soon see Obama lose in November? That’s crazy. There’s just no evidence that anyone in the Clinton campaign actually thinks this way. It’s like the 90s all over again and it’s driving me nuts.
My fellow Obama supporters need to get a grip. I know that resistance to CDS seems futile these days, but resist anyway! Hillary has a long, long history as a partisan animal. She’d no more root for a McCain victory than she would for another attack by al-Qaeda. What’s more, on the level of pure political tactics, she knows perfectly well — and so should we — that if she loses neither she nor Bill will control anything and she’ll have no future presidential prospects in 2012 or any other year. It’s either 2008 or nothing for Hillary.
And if she gave even a hint of not supporting Obama wholeheartedly during the fall campaign? Not only would she have no future presidential prospects, she’d be lucky to escape being tarred, feathered, and ridden out of town on a rail. She’d be the most reviled Democrat on Capitol Hill. She knows that too.
Hillary’s running a very tough campaign, and she might be making a mistake staying in the race. But she’s not rooting for John McCain and she’s not secretly plotting Barack Obama’s downfall. If anyone has any evidence to the contrary, I’m all ears.